The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced the return of the smartphone manufacturer VIVO as the title sponsor for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL 2021). Last year, Vivo Communication Technology Co’s withdrew from sponsoring the IPL 13 due to the negative publicity it has gained amid the Indo-China tension on the border.
“Vivo is back, this edition to be announced as VIVO IPL 2021, welcome back Vivo,” said Brijesh Patel on Star Sports during the welcome speech of the IPL auction where IPL 2021 teams and players list were completed. Brijesh also hints the return of fans in stadiums during the same speech. “Cannot wait to have fans back in attendance, most likely they will be in attendance for this year’s IPL,” Brijesh added.
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It is learnt that the Chinese smartphone manufacturer’s five-year agreement, took over the title sponsorship from Pepsi in 2015, is due to expire in 2022. VIVO had pulled out as the title sponsor following a tension between India and China. A statement by the mobile phone manufacturer last year said both parties “have mutually decided to pause their partnership for the 2020 season.”
Dream11 took over the sponsorship during the virus-hit tournament last year. They became the title sponsor of the IPL 2020 following the Rs 222 crore for the 4.5-month deal. However, their contract ended December last year and the Indian Board were not keen on giving details of renewing Dream11’s contract after the successful tournament in UAE.
Earlier, reports claim that Vivo is looking to transfer its remaining contract due to ongoing political turmoil. An unnamed BCCI official revealed to a news outlet that the company is open to taking a hit and assigning the rights to any interested party after realizing that they are paying much than the actual value. Vivo looks to “transfer” its rights to interested parties at the earliest so as to exit the contract.
Meanwhile, in the recently concluded IPL “mini-auction” this year, a total of 164 Indian players, 125 overseas players, and 3 players were listed. The highest reserve price in this auction was fixed at Rs 2 crore, with only two Indians – Kedar Jadhav and Harbhajan Singh – making it in that elite club at a base price of Rs 2 crore. Another 12 cricketers are on the auction list with a base price of 1.5 crore.
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